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Asthma: Questions You Have... Answers You Need

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Powerful Information You Need To Prevent Or Live With Asthma—A Reversible And Controllable Disease

Asthma affects nearly fifteen million Americans. It is the cause of nearly three million lost workdays; the most common chronic disease among children; the leading cause of absenteeism from American schools—and even potentially deadly.

Asthma: Questions You Have...Answers You Need gives you a clear understanding of this disease and provides the ...

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0380732912 brand new 2000 Harper Torch paperback

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Overview

Powerful Information You Need To Prevent Or Live With Asthma—A Reversible And Controllable Disease

Asthma affects nearly fifteen million Americans. It is the cause of nearly three million lost workdays; the most common chronic disease among children; the leading cause of absenteeism from American schools—and even potentially deadly.

Asthma: Questions You Have...Answers You Need gives you a clear understanding of this disease and provides the most up-to-date information on how to prevent and control it. This book answers hundreds of essential questions, including:

  • What are asthma's common and distinctive symptoms?
  • What are the latest tests and treatments?
  • How does stress affect asthma?
  • Is there a genetic factor?
  • What are the key asthma triggers and how do you avoid them?
  • How do exercise, foods, and weather affect asthma?
  • When does an asthma attack require a trip to the emergency room?
  • What kind of doctor can best treat asthma?
  • And Much, Much More!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380732913
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/2/2000
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 4.22 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Read an Excerpt

You may. be shocked to know that asthma is on the increase. There are now 14.6 million Americans who suffer from asthma-up from 10.4 million in 1990. Asthma is the number one diagnosis of people admitted to hospitals. Almost 5 million American children have asthma, and the numbers keep growing. In fact, from 1980 to 1993, the death rate among kids with asthma doubled.

Even more surprising is how often asthma is misdiagnosed by doctors. In fact, some studies suggest misdiagnosis is one of the primary reasons hospital admissions and deaths related to asthma are so high.

There are two important points to know about asthma. First, as the above statistics so graphically emphasize, asthma is a very dangerous and complex disease. Second, asthma is treatable. And the more you know about the disease itself and the treatment options available, the more likely you are to survive and flourish.

The People's Medical Society published the first edition of this book in 1994. Since then, this book has become one of the best-selling books on the subject of asthma. Its popularity, we are told by readers, is the simple way we deliver what is often confusing and technical medical information. Using a straight forward, question and-answer format, Asthma: Questions You have ... Answers You Need covers all the important facts and studies. Readers have told us, too, that many of the questions we ask (and answer, of course) are ones they never would have thought to ask. And that's precisely why we chose this approach.

This book is a completely updated and revised edition of Asthma: Questions You Have ... Answers You Need. Much has happened in the way of medical researchin the past five years. There is a better understanding of the triggers that tend to-spark an acute asthma attack. There are new and improved medications that can prevent attacks and ease those that do occur. New treatment models have been developed that are bringing relief to thousands of people. In other words, it was time to provide readers with new and better information.

As the nation's largest nonprofit consumer health advocacy organization, the People's Medical Society is committed to providing helpful and healthful information to the consumer. It is our philosophy that an informed consumer is an empowered one-a person capable of making the best health care decisions in partnerhsip with her health care provider. And studies confirm our philosophy. The more a consumer knows about her condition, the more involved she becomes in the decision making, the more likely a successful outcome will occur.

Finally, we must acknowledge the work of Paula Brisco in the development of this book. Although Paula is not the author of this edition of Asthma: Questions You Have ... Answers You Need, she wrote the earlier edition. Much of her excellent work and research remains a part of this book.

Charles B. Inlander, President
People's Medical Society

Behind the Scenes of Asthma

Q: What is asthma?

A: Asthma is a disease in which air passages in the lungs periodically become narrowed, obstructed or even blocked. Medical science classifies asthma as a respiratory disease, because it interferes with the process by which oxygen is delivered to the body's cells-and, as You know, oxygen is necessary to sustain life.

What is an asthma attack?

A: This is the term used to describe a period of breathing difficulty. People who are in the midst of an asthma attack often experience -wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath...

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
1 Behind theScenes of Asthma 1
Extrinsic Asthma 17
Intrinsic Asthma 18
Nocturnal Asthma 20
Seasonal Asthma 22
Exercise-Induced Asthma 22
Intermittent Asthma 23
Chronic Asthma 24
2 Asthma Triggers 35
Pollen 37
Mold Spores 38
Animal Dander and Saliva 39
Dust Mites 40
Cockroaches 41
Chemicals 43
Air Pollutants 44
Tobacco Smoke 45
Occupational Triggers 47
Adverse Food Reactions 48
Drug Sensitivities 50
Hormones 51
Exercise 52
Infections 53
Weather 54
Stress 55
3 Tests and Procedures 61
Pulmonary-Function Tests 67
Reversibility Test 69
Sweat Test 70
X-Rays 70
Skin Tests 71
Blood Tests 73
Bronchoprovocation 75
Exercise Challenge 75
Food Challenge 76
Sputum Stain or Mucus Stain 77
Electrocardiogram 78
Bronchoscopy 78
Rhinoscopy 79
4 Asthma Medications 81
Bronchodilators 85
Anti-Inflammatory Medications 96
Leukotriene Modifiers 102
Mucokinetic Drugs 103
Antihistamines 104
5 Immunotherapy 109
6 Self-Care: Putting Yourself in Control 117
Peak-Flow Measurements 118
The Doctor and the Medication Plan 125
Trigger Avoidance and Control 129
Exercise 135
Diet 138
Physical Therapy 141
Stress Management 144
7 Asthma and Children 147
8 When to Seek Extra Help 165
Acute Severe Asthma 166
Status Asthmaticus 172
Surgery and Asthma 179
Pregnancy and Asthma 183
Aging and Asthma 187
Informational and Mutual-Aid Groups 191
Glossary 195
Select Bibliography 217
Index 225
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